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Could Increasing Tariffs On Foreign Goods Improve The Outlook For American Manufacturing Jobs?: Left of Center View

It’s so easy to blame the Chinese or the Mexicans or any other nameless faceless people for the problems in America. The truth is that we the consumers in America are as much to blame for the manufacturing collapse as anyone. We want cheap stuff but we also want to get paid well. We want to live like millionaires while doing nothing for the money. We don’t look at labels unless they have the price on them and then we wonder why the factory down the road closed down. Wal-Mart is our Mecca and “buy it for less” is our mantra.

Problem is, you can’t make cheap stuff and pay people a lot of money to do it. That is simply throwing money away and no person who has a significant amount of money is likely to just toss it down a hole in the interests of letting some basically unskilled workers pulling levers every thirty seconds live like Rockefellers. So we get the cheap stuff from China or Mexico or wherever Corporation X decided to set up shop when they got tired of low or no profits on American made goods. Wal-Mart becomes the fastest growing retailer in the country and suddenly there is one on every block with only a tiny fraction of the items on their shelves made by anyone within 3,000 miles of the store.

So we ask if we should increase tariffs on the stuff from China to make the American made stuff seem less expensive. Well, I suppose that might work for a minute until some genius working for an industry trade group figures out a loophole in the new tariff law and finds a way to get the pricing down a little further. They could always just take the factory to somewhere even less civilized with even lower costs to offset the new tariffs and keep the item much cheaper than American goods. We might increase the tariff again but they would find a way around it. They always do.

Maybe the answer is for American consumers to start looking at the labels of the things they buy or even start choosing quality over quantity for a change by supporting smaller artisan craftsmen locally. We could maybe substitute the trip to Wal-Mart with a trip to the local flea market one weekend a month to buy stuff from people who live in our own towns much of the time. Maybe the key to stimulating American job growth is to stop and think before you buy once in a while.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Next week's subject: How Can A "Nation Of Immigrants" Be Isolationist?

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Last Week's View from the Left:
Is Denying Healthcare To Undocumented Immigrants The Best Way To Lower Healthcare Costs In America?

Reform America Articles Archive



Could Increasing Tariffs On Foreign Goods Improve The Outlook For American Manufacturing Jobs?: Right of Center View

Free trade is only free when the playing field is level. American goods can’t compete on the global market or even on American store shelves because the companies from other countries have all the advantages. Their governments subsidize them and pay for the healthcare of their workers lowering their cost of doing business to pennies on the dollar compared to American companies. With lower costs and government assistance they can sell their products dirt cheap and still make a profit. American companies have ten times the expenses, high business taxes and no help from Uncle Sam to move their goods even onto American store shelves.

Imposing greater trade tariffs on foreign made goods would at least level the playing field in America for American-made goods. We cannot force China to pay their workers more or increase their taxes on Chinese businesses but we can check the stuff at the waterfront and slap a few bucks onto their cost of doing business so our companies can at least compete in our own stores. While we all love Wal-Mart’s low, low prices we need to remember that those prices cost Americans jobs.

Conservatives are not known for being big fans of taxes, and we aren’t, but sometimes you need to do something to make things right. It’s just not fair to expect American companies to try to compete with foreign companies that make the same thing at a tenth of the cost. That’s like taking on a tank with a pea shooter. We all know who’s gonna win that one.

Now that’s not to say that increased tariffs are the only solution. We could set limits on foreign goods coming into American ports or give incentives to people to buy American like low or no sales tax on American made goods. We could even give an income tax deduction to families who buy a certain amount of American goods each year. There has to be something we can do to make American goods competitive at least here in America.

There are good American people looking to work an honest day making goods for their fellow countrymen but they’ll never have a chance if we don’t start finding ways to get more “Made in USA” items on the store shelves and into people’s homes. Making the “Made in Taiwan” and “Made in China” stuff a little more expensive and the “Made in USA” stuff a little less expensive would be a good way to start.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Next week's subject: How Can A "Nation Of Immigrants" Be Isolationist?

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Last Week's View from the Right:
Is Denying Healthcare To Undocumented Immigrants The Best Way To Lower Healthcare Costs In America?

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A Legal Immigrant’s Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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